If students return to remote learning, or parents choose remote learning through their school districts, these are some of the available listening options for hearing technology and device connectivity. These options will differ for each child based on their personal hearing devices, listening preferences, and individual situations.
1. Listen through the computer/iPad/Chromebook’s built-in speaker.
2. Use personal headphones that the student knows work with his or her devices.
3. Use an auxiliary speaker connected directly or via Bluetooth to the computer/ iPad/ Chromebook.
4. Amplified neckloops may be obtained for students whose hearing aids or cochlear implant processors have a t-coil program already programmed in and made accessible by their audiologist.
5. Some students have hearing aids or cochlear implant processors that can use a streamer plugged into the computer/ iPad/ Chromebook via an audio cable to stream audio to the personal hearing devices.
6. Students with Cochlear Corporation N6 processors (CP910) can use a monaural or binaural personal audio cable from Cochlear Corporation. (If the audio cable is plugged into a device that is running off a battery, only the audio cable is needed. If it is plugged into a device that is plugged into a wall outlet, an isolation cable must also be used to protect the CI processor from possible electrical surges.)
7. Students whose hearing aids or cochlear implant processors have Bluetooth capabilities may be able to connect devices directly to laptops/ iPads/ Chromebooks with Bluetooth. If the computer device does not have Bluetooth, it may be possible to add a Bluetooth dongle. The students’ audiologist should have shown them how to connect Bluetooth devices to their hearing aids or implant processors.
8. When needed, students may take home their school supplied remote microphone (FM/DM) systems to access remote instruction. However, this may not be the best option for students using alternating schedules / hybrid learning if transporting the system between school and home every day is needed.
Parents, teachers, Deaf and Hard of Hearing teachers, and the educational audiologist need to work together to determine which option(s) will be best for each student.
Written by Karen M. Schaaf, Educational Audiologist, July 2020.